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Nadal Through, Roddick, Gonzalez Out at Roland Garros
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Two-time defending champion Rafael Nadal survived an early scare to make the second round at Roland Garros as he defeated up-and-coming Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro 7-5, 6-3, 6-2 here on Tuesday.

Potro served for the first set at 5-4 but Nadal rebounded to win 15 of the last 20 games of the match to improve to 15-0 lifetime at Roland Garros.

American players suffered the worst overall results in the Open Era history at Roland Garros, with all nine US men going on court and only one of them left.

The only remaining hope, Robby Ginepri, finished the day locked at one set all with Argentine Diego Hartfield. Their match was suspended due to darkness.

The eight men, spearheaded by third seed Andy Roddick, eighth seed James Blake, included Mike Russell, Vince Spadea, Robert Kendrick, Sam Querrey, Amer Delic and Justin Gimelstob.

Fifth seed Fernando Gonzalez from Chile, who reached the Australian Open final in his last Grand Slam outing, suffered a heavy 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 defeat against Czech Radek Stepanek. Despite winning five of his seven career titles on clay, Gonzalez has madeit past the Roland Garros third round just once in seven appearances.

As tournament organizers scrambled to make up for two rain-plagued days, a historic 60 men's singles matches were scheduled for Day 3, with seven of them were suspended at last due to darkness.

There are also win for Swiss Roger Federer, who needed one hour and 45 minutes to crash his American opponent Michael Russell 6-4,6-2, 6-4.

The 25-year-old world number one will be up against French wildcard Thierry Ascione, who overcame qualifier Marin Cilic of Croatia 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 in 93 minutes.

Two other top 10 players, 7th seed Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia and Spanish 9th seed Tommy Robredo also notched up their weather-hit matches.

Ljubicic avoided his 16th first round exit at a major championship by knocking out French favorite Arnaud Clement 6-1, 7-5, 7-6 (2) while the 25-year-old Robredo cruised past Argentine Sergio Roitman 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and 56 minutes.

Russian Igor Andreev came back to defeat Roddick 3-6, 6-4, 6-3,6-4, handing the American his fourth first round loss in the last six years.

Andreev, who came in ranked No. 125, converted four of 11 breakpoints while Roddick was just two of 12 on break point chances.

Blake went down to Croatian giant Ivo Karlovic 4-6, 6-4, 7-5, 7-5. He had trouble with the big-serving Karlovic on all surfaces and it was no different on clay, as the Croat powered 22 aces past him. Karlovic finished with 53 winners to only 27 from Blake.

"It's no secret we haven't done that great on clay this year, but I think we have the ability," he said. "I can't speak for anyone else, but for me, no. I'm not gonna stop coming here."

14th seed Lleyton Hewitt continued his impressive clay court form with a 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 win over Max Mirnyi, making just 13 unforced errors in the match.

Argentine David Nalbandian, who has reached the semifinals in two of the past three years, reached the second round with a 6-2, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 win over South Korean Lee Hyung-Taik.

Marcos Baghdatis destroyed Frenchman Sebastien Grosjean 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 and will now attempt to reach the third round for the first time in his three career appearances at Roland Garros.

Among those advancing in first-round action were former world No.1 and 2003 Roland Garros champion Juan Carlos Ferrero, 11th seed Richard Gasquet from France, and Russians Mikhail Youzhny and Dmitry Tursunov.

(Xinhua News Agency May 30, 2007)

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